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Social Security freeze


If you're a senior on a fixed income who, say, takes the bus to do your grocery and drug shopping, chances are the price of gas at the pump doesn't affect you much.

Or, at least, you think it doesn't. Unfortunately, it's the huge drop in energy prices (part of the consumer price mix) that has dragged down inflation to the point where the government says that, statistically, there isn't any. So you can forget that cost of living allowance in your Social Security check, Granny.

Now, anybody who goes to the supermarket knows that food prices haven't dropped, unless you're a big milk drinker. But the government doesn't parse things that delicately. They look at the whole gorgeous panoply of consumer goods when they make their heartless calculations.

The problem, as I've said before, is that once you start giving people things on a regular basis, they come to expect them.

So Social Security recipients are going to want to know, in no uncertain terms, why they didn't get their annual raise. It will be amusing, to say the least, to hear members of congress carefully explain the above rationale about inflation to someone for whom a couple of dollars may dictate whether they have to miss a meal this month or not.

My guess is they won't be able to take the heat.

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You know, that phrase "fixed income" always bothers me. The way folks use it to paint a picture of the dire condition of seniors on a "fixed income" always makes it sound as if anyone else can just get more money any time they need it. If I can get more money anytime, please tell me what memo I missed :-).

So Social Security recipients are going to want to know, in no uncertain terms, why they didn't get their annual raise.

Bernie Madoff's victims were also pissed off. That's what happens when Ponzi schemes start to unravel.

CPI numbers are fudged to come out the way politicians want. Right now politicians know we can't afford a SS increase with so many well connected bankers to bail out; they can simply place the blame on the statistics.

More of your useless drivel Lolly? Do you even understand the complexity of the graph theory that goes into the sampling algorithms for the CPI?

Dear Mr. Dope,

Do not confuse the complexity of a calculation with its accuracy.

Inflation is a monetary phenomenon. The CPI is not an economic variable; it is a statistic that, at best, gives a very inaccurate measurement of "inflation."

The US Dept of Labor calculates a weighted average of prices for commodities consumed in the mythical average household. However, these statisticians have access to all commodity prices before they make the calculations. They frequently adjust (supposedly to reduce biases) what is in the average household budget and how items should be weighted. It is easy for them to come up with whatever CPI is politically acceptable.


This is what happens to the senior citizens who have paid their dues by working hard during their young years and supporting our government. It isn't because we are living longer and receiving S.S is due to Congress borrowing from S.S. and investing in failed ventures in addition to using our money to pay those who have never contributed to the S.S. fund. Now, we are going to suffer because we have trusted our political leaders. I shall never vote for an incumbent again regardless of party affiliation. I believe we should give a new politician the opportunity to steal from us.

How nice of Aurora to make your point for you Chad.

She sees social security now as an entitlement and an annual increase as something that should be a given.

You're right, there will be howling in the streets.

If I'm not "entitled" to SS then why am I being FORCED to pay into it? If SS is for MY retirement why can't I invest it in my 401K under "guaranteed interest" so at least I will see some of my money again? As I see it the Gov has been stealing from me for 30 years and giving my hard earned cash to someone else! Do I think I'm entitled to MY money?


Why the inflation is used as a reference when, in fact, the cost of living is more apropriate?
Even the cost of living does not include food and energy (and, one will die without theese). It is true that, let's say, computers, big screen TV's and such are cheaper these days but, we can not make it without food, heating, clothing, medecine and the whole bunch of basic needs. Why are we always missinformed and cheated.

We can bail out banks, large companies, etc. Then they give their retiring CEO a large bonus and retirement package. But the government cannot give seniors a small increase because of the CPI...forget the CPI, check out the increase of food, electricity, medical and medicines, the necessities to live on (not the drop in price of TV, computers, etc) and then the government will see that there SHOULD BE AN INCREASE. And quit subsidizing illegals, and big business CEOs...

If S.S. is mostly for seniors the COLA should be based on seniors biggest costs; ie, medical, food, and energy. COLA could be pro-rated on total income.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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